I reached the point in my life a few years ago where I had to lose weight. Just had to. I was ready to. Those are actually two totally different things. I was ready. So based on a glowing recommendation, I hired Tina as my personal trainer. She showed up at my house twice, sometimes three times a week, ready to work out. I dreaded it and loved it at the same time. And I lost weight. But something else happened. I found this give-it-all-you-got determination inside of me that transcended workouts and became a part of life.
One thing that "Mean-a Tina" did for me was decide that I was born to run. The first time she told me that, I laughed harder than I had ever laughed before. But she didn't laugh. So we ran. We started off running from my door to the end of the block. And then we'd walk. Then we got a little bit farther. And before I knew it, I was running a half-mile. And then a mile. And then two.
That fall, I felt very brave and signed up for the Dallas Turkey Trot. A 5k -- 3.125 miles -- farther than I had ever run. And with 30,000 other people I ran my first race on that Thanksgiving Day.
I don't remember much about the race except that there were a lot of people, and they were all faster than me. It's humbling when a Mom with a stroller passes you by.
But I remember the Finish Line. The sweet victory of the Finish Line. The accomplishment of knowing that you are finished. That you made it. And you can stop and rest. And that you survived. And that you are proud of what you've done and how you've endured.
My Mom had her sixth and final chemo treatment today. Wow, if I thought a 5k was hard to endure... What a journey. What a race. What a test of endurance. What a test of faith.
Mom has lost a lot along the way, as many Cancer victims and survivors do. But she hasn't lost her determination or her spirit or her sanity or her complete devotion to God. In fact, I think she's gained. She gained clarity and an extra dose of faith and a glimpse of God from a new angle.
And now she can see the Finish Line.
Her race isn't over yet. She still has several hard weeks ahead. The treatment has been more and more difficult to pull through with every round. And now at Round 6, her legs are heavy and not moving as swiftly as they did at the beginning of this race. But she continues to run. Eyes fixed on the Finish Line ahead of her.
Her goal wasn't to win. Her goal was to finish. And she will accomplish that with her head held high, knowing that she is, in fact, finished. She made it. Knowing that she can stop and rest. And that she survived. And that she is proud of what she's done and how she's endured.
And we, her fans, will keep cheering her on as she nears the end, holds her arms and head high and yells, "I made it!"
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